Robotic disassembly for increased recovery of strategically important materials from electrical vehicles

Research Area:
Remanufacturing and Recycling


Robotics and Computer-Integrated Manufacturing

SMART Authors:
Shahin Rahimifard

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The rapid growth of market share of Electrical Vehicles (EVs) and their increasing amount of electric and electronic components have introduced difficult challenges for future recycling of such vehicles. End of Life Vehicles (ELVs), together with Waste Electric and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), are renowned as an important source of secondary raw materials. In addition, a significant proportion of the hidden value at the End-of-Life (EoL) of the EVs is embedded in the light fractions containing complex material mixtures, i.e. the management of electronic components that has been rarely considered in the scientific literature. The purpose of this paper is to fill this gap through the use of an innovative disassembly approach to identify the profitability of recycling such electronic components. The novel approach, based on the utilisation of a robotic system, disassembles and extracts Strategically Important Materials (SIMs) from EV components, thereby improving the concentration of these materials prior to final recycling and refining processes. This paper presents the challenges in the robotic disassembly of Electrical and Electronic (E&E) components. A case study has also been included to demonstrate that an average 95% of the materials and their associated recovery value could be achieved.

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